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Harley Benton ST-20 & ST-20 HSS – Is It Good? [REVIEW]

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If you’re wondering if Harley Benton ST-20 is a good electric guitar or not, don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place! In today’s in-depth review, I’m going to take a very close look on that cheap Strat copy. It’s a really popular model, but is it actually worth it?

The truth is that Harley Benton ST-20 offers a surprisingly good quality. It certainly doesn’t feel or sound like a budget guitar. Although it’s not the best guitar in the world, it’s one of the best cheap Stratocasters out there.

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what exactly makes the ST-20 model so good and so popular all around the world. Firstly, we’ll have a look at the specs and the main advantages of that model. We’ll also investigate the potential flaws of that guitar. Of course, there will be a few sound demos included as well!

Specs & Pricing

Harley Benton ST-20 is a budget electric guitar that exceeds all the expectations. In fact, it’s one of the most popular guitars made by this brand.

What makes it so cool? Well, the guitar features a solid basswood body and a maple neck with roseacer fretboard (roseacer is thermally treated maple wood). The modern C profile of the neck makes it really enjoyably to play. This is really important, because other cheap guitars are often quite uncomfortable.

The manufacturer equipped this model with three Stratocaster-style single-coil pickups, which offer a lot of versatility when it comes to tone. They’re pretty basic, but they get the job done and they give you access to quite a lot of tones.

When it comes to pricing, it’s very affordable. The low price is one of the biggest factors that contributed to the high popularity of that guitar. Surely, anyone will be able to save up for it. It’s one of the cheapest Strat copies out there!

Here’s the demo that I recorded a while ago. Back then I bought it for less than eighty bucks, but it’s likely that it’s a bit more expensive now.

Who Is It For?

Harley Benton ST-20 is mainly designed for amateur guitarists, although even more intermediate players will appreciate the value of that model. It works perfectly as a first guitar for anyone who wants to start their own musical journey.

Just like any other Stratocaster with three single-coil pickups, it’s a really versatile instrument. Whether you’re into blues, rock, jazz or indie – this guitar can do it all. The versatility of that axe is amazing!

It is also worth mentioning that this is one of the cheapest Stratocasters available on the market. Although it will never be as good as an original Fender Strat, it’s still a great alternative for those who don’t want to pay too much for new gear.

Overall, I’m positive that the vast majority of amateur guitarists will be really satisfied after getting the Harley Benton ST-20. Considering how affordable it is, there’s just not much to complain about.

Here’s an another sound demo.

Harley Benton ST-20HSS

What’s interesting, Harley Benton also manufactures an another version of that guitar – the ST-20HSS model. This particular model is even nicer than the regular one, but it’s slightly more expensive.

The guitar features a basswood body, a maple neck and Amaranth fretboard. It’s also has black hardware and a matching headstock. It has a bit more aggressive look than the regular ST-20.

What’s important, it sounds a bit more powerful as well. This axe has a HSS pickup setting, which gives you even more versatility when it comes to tone. The bridge humbucker gives you access to a bit more punchier tones, so if you’re into rock, punk, grunge or metal – this guitar will be perfect for you.

Although it’s a bit more expensive than ST-20, it’s still a cheap guitar. Honestly, I will be difficult to find a better electric guitar with the HSS pickup setting at this price level. That’s for sure!

Here’s my video review (as well as unboxing and sound demo) – feel free to check it out below.

Better Alternatives

If you don’t like the sound of Harley Benton ST-20 and you feel like’d rather get a guitar from the higher shelf, that’s not a problem! There’s still quite a lot of great Stratocasters out there that aren’t that expensive. Of course, it all depends on the size of your budget.

Here’s a few more guitars that also deserve a lot of attention.

Firstly, you should definitely consider getting the Squier Bullet Stratocaster HSS. For those who aren’t aware, Squier is a brand owned by Fender. The Bullet Strat it actually the cheapest Stratocaster offered by this manufacturer. It’s on a very similar level as Harley Benton ST-20 and it’s perfect for beginners!

Alternatively, you can also consider getting the Squier Affinity Stratocaster. This is a bit more expensive Strat, but it’s way better. I have to admit that I’m a huge fan of the whole Affinity Series – these guitars look, sound and feel like much more expensive guitars. I think that this Strat can be efficiently used by intermediate musicians as well and it’s perfect for live gigs.

Additionally, there’s also the Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster. There are various different versions of that Strat – ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. They are all great and they feature a really unique, vintage vibe. Getting a CV Strat is a perfect option for everyone who likes oldschool gear. And in fact, it’s actually not that expensive either!

However, anyone who’s looking for the best value for the money should stick with the Harley Benton ST-20. Considering how inexpensive it is, it’s just one of the best cheap guitars out there. That’s for sure!


Where are Harley Benton guitars made?

Harley Benton has factories in the East Asia in countries like Vietnam, China and Indonesia.

Is Harley Benton a good guitar brand?

Yes, Harley Benton is a really good guitar brand! They manufacture a lot of fantastic and affordable guitars of all types.

Where can I find out more about Harley Benton?

If you want to learn more about this guitar manufacturer, make sure to visit the official website of Harley Benton.


As you can see, Harley Benton ST-20 is a really cool electric guitar. If you’re searching for your first instrument, this model will work perfectly for you. Although it’s not a spectacular guitar, it gets the job done and it’s ideal for beginners.

What do you think of the ST-20? Would you get it for yourself or do you think that it’s overrated? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful. If you enjoyed this article and you’re looking for more gear recommendations, you may also like: